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Tales of Suspense #72: Review

Dec 1965
Stan Lee, Don Heck

Story Name:

Hoorah for the Conquering Hero!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Tales of Suspense #72 Review by (February 15, 2010)
With this issue, the stories return to the modern era. First of a three part story. Layouts by Jack Kirby.

Tales of Suspense #72 Review by (May 15, 2012)
Review (Iron Man): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is no reason why Tony can’t reveal his identity to Pepper at the beginning of this story—other than that he wants her to hate him. Anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot in my head for the Mad Thinker, a self-styled genius who can predict any event with uncanny accuracy—so long as the story requires it. Otherwise his schemes are always so badly organized, so dependent on chance that he often comes across as one of the stupidest villains in Marvel because of his unfailing (and unjustified) faith in his own intellect. So what’s his scheme here? He takes Stephanie De La Spiroza’s cash to find out Iron Man’s identity—and the best plan he can devise to achieve that end is to kidnap Tony Stark and ask him. Can’t he just crunch some numbers or something? And then he betrays the femme fatuous by deciding to kill Iron Man instead. Why? Because it’s a genius thing and you wouldn’t understand. And there are writers who could make it believable that a mindless android could be programmed to behave as though it had sentience; Stan Lee is not one of them. Most of the plot makes no sense and it’s just a cop-out to appeal to the Thinker’s superior intellect. But if you like the goofy tales this one is perfect.

Comments (Iron Man): First issue in which Pepper appears without Happy. It is not explained why Tony Stark knows so much about the Mad Thinker seeing as this is their first meeting.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Tales of Suspense #72 Synopsis by T Vernon
After his victory over the Soviet champion Titanium Man (issues #69-71), Iron Man returns to New York to find himself acclaimed a hero. But he is in no mood for a celebration as he is too worried about the condition of his chauffeur Happy Hogan, critically injured in the duel with his enemy. Iron Man tells Pepper Potts to make excuses for him, suffering under the bitter irony that Pepper now hates Tony Stark for his seeming coldness toward Happy’s fate. As the entire nation now wonders, "Who is Iron Man?" Tony’s old flame the Countess Stephanie De La Spiroza conceives a plan to strike back at Tony by threatening to unmask his anonymous bodyguard. She uses bribery to track down the criminal genius the Mad Thinker who claims he has predicted her mission and announces that he has already dispatched his assistant to capture Tony Stark. Seconds later, Tony is shocked when the Thinker's Awesome Android crashes through the wall of his office and pursues him through his secret escape tunnels and seizes the millionaire, brining him to his master. Meanwhile, Pepper has alerted the authorities that Tony was carried off by a monster and that Iron Man is nowhere to be found. As the CIA begins a search, Senator Byrd speculates that his is some trick of Stark’s to avoid having to reveal Iron Man’s identity. Meanwhile, the Mad Thinker politely requests Tony to reveal the Armored Avenger’s secret identity. Tony politely declines and discovers Stephanie is involved. When the villain attempts to open Tony’s briefcase, gas fills the room, allowing Tony to seize the case and change into his armor—as he is attacked by the mindless Android. The huge monster mimics Iron Man’s armored abilities and battles him to a standstill. The Thinker betrays Stephanie, deciding to kill Iron man instead, and he unleashes power-sapping rays. The hero releases a reflecting mist which causes the rays to drain power from the Android instead. Iron Man then blows up the villain’s control panel, and carries his off to jail, while leaving Stephanie to walk home. Tony returns to the factory past a horde of reporters telling him Senator Byrd is after Iron Man’s identity. Entering he brushes off Pepper when she tries to give him news about Happy. For he must continue to make her hate him….

Story #2

The Sleeper Shall Awake!

Writer: Stan Lee. Layouts: Jack Kirby. Penciler: George Tuska. Inker: George Tuska. Colorist: ?.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain America wraps up the story of Greymoor Castle which he has been relating to his fellow Avengers, and explains that he did not get in trouble over his "desertion" because Army Intelligence knew his secret identity and covered for him. As he readies for bed later that evening, Steve broods over the loss of his partner Bucky and recalls his final encounter with the Red Skull twenty years earlier. Cap was pursuing a fleeing Red Skull who was blown up by his own grenade and managed to tell Cap that his three "Sleepers" would awaken on Der Tag—the Day—twenty years hence and revive the Third Reich. An Allied bombing separated Cap from the Skull and…he is suddenly jarred back to the present by the realization that Der Tag must be coming soon. Steve examines a document he took from the Red Skull that day and finds it to be a list of three German cities and the names of Nazi agents. Later, in Germany, the first agent leads a group into the hills to open a secret door; out strides the first sleeper: a huge robot, stalking across the land, firing electrical bolts from its claws. Cap parachutes into the area and quickly discovers the Sleeper but finds he is unable to do anything to stop the huge powerful monster. Elsewhere, the second agent prepares to awaken the next Sleeper….

Don Heck
Mike Esposito
Jack Kirby (Cover Penciler)
Mike Esposito (Cover Inker)
Stan Goldberg (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

(Clint Barton)
Iron Man
Iron Man

(Tony Stark)
Pepper Potts
Pepper Potts

(Pepper Hogan)

(Pietro Maximoff)
Red Skull
Red Skull

(Johann Shmidt)
Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch

(Wanda Maximoff)

Plus: Senator Byrd, Stephanie De La Spiroza.

> Tales of Suspense: Book info and issue index

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